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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/181

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131
The Question of Method

all others. This is that the proletariat is growing in numbers, in solidarity, and in self-consciousness. The wage-earning and the salaried classes, having increased in numbers and organised into groups, have now attained to an ideal. They no longer limit their hopes to the abolition of the worst faults of the present society; they now wish to create a social order founded on an altogether different principle. Instead of the régime of private and capitalistic ownership of property, under which it is possible for one part of mankind to lord it over the other part, they wish to institute a system of universal social co-operation which shall make of every man a legal partner. Their thought has broken away from bourgeois thought, their action from bourgeois action. They have their own organisation which they put at the service of their Communist ideal. This is a class organisation based on the growing power of the trades-unions and the workmen's co-operative societies, and the increasing share of strictly political power that they have obtained in the State or over the State. All Socialists agree to this general and elementary conception of the situation. They may assign different reasons for the growth of the proletariat, or rather they may lay different stress on the same reasons. They may magnify either the power of economic organisation or of political activity. But they all realise that by the necessary evolution of capital that is developed by modern industry, and by the corre-